THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen
This book caught my eye while browsing in Chapters bookstore and I was intrigued by the description.
It the first book in a new series.
Wow! What a tale. And that is exactly what this book is, it is a tale, just as THE LORD OF THE RINGS is a tale. This series has that sort of potential. This book reminds me of the GAME OF THRONES series. Not the storyline itself, but the epic proportions of the plot.
I read the entire 434 pages in a single day. I had plans for the day, but little did I know when I started, that I would be unable to put this book down. Literally!
I was immediately drawn into this make-believe world. This novel is both fantasy novel and dystopian fiction.
Kelsea Raleigh was whisked away as a baby and raised in seclusion. She is the heir to The Tearling, a post-apocalyptic state that is more like a medieval
kingdom than what we think of as a typical post-apocalyptic world. This could be due to the fact that several generations have passed since “The Tear.”
Kelsea is destined to become Queen of The Tearling on her nineteenth birthday. But her only living relative, an Uncle who has been acting as the kingdom’s regent for many years, has other ideas. Kelsea knows that he would have already had her assassinated if he had known the location of hidden sanctuary.
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, is a plain looking and serious girl who loves books and learning. In fact, given a choice, she would have been content to stay in the hidden cottage for the rest of her life.
While growing up Kelsea had been told very little about her deceased mother, Queen Elyssa. Her guardians wanted Kelsea to become her own woman without trying to emulate her mother.
When the Queen’s Guards arrive at her hidden cottage to escort her back to the capitol city, Kelsea quickly realizes that she has a lot to learn.
“But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.”
“Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.”
The Queen of the Tearling introduces readers to a world that is complex, vivid and terrifying.
Readers will find themselves enjoying an immensely satisfying wild ride as they join the new Queen on her journey. She reaches inside herself for the strength to make changes for the good of her people and like every good heroine, she battles through her own doubt and insecurity to find that her inner core is made of the strongest iron.
I love the scope of this story. It is not limited to a single kingdom and each kingdom has it’s own distinct beliefs, rulers, political structures and even religions.
The characters in this story are well developed and no matter how minor the character’s role, they still come across fully and with surprising depth. I also love the fact that both leading characters are female. They are both strong women, and yet they are distinctly unique.
My rating for this book is an enthusiastic 5 out of 5 stars. I just hope the wait for Book Two isn’t too long.
Add this book to your MUST READ list. You will not be disappointed.
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